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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Virtual Reality by University of London

1,757 ratings

About the Course

This course will introduce you to Virtual Reality (VR). The course will teach you everything from the basics of VR- the hardware and the history of VR- to different applications of VR, the psychology of Virtual Reality, and the challenges of the medium. The course is designed for people who are new to VR as a medium. You may have experienced some virtual reality before, and may have some hardware- but this course is suitable to individuals who have never experienced VR and those who do not have much hardware- we will explain Mobile VR as well as devices such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Introduction to Virtual Reality is the first course in the Virtual Reality Specialisation. A learner with no previous experience in Virtual Reality and/or game programming will be able to evaluate existing VR applications, and design, test, and implement their own VR experiences/games using Unity by the end of the specialisation....

Top reviews


May 13, 2020

The course is highly recommended by me. Learned so many things at once. All the lecturers are too good in illustrating a complex issues and now my basic ideas about virtual reality is clear and wider.


Jan 28, 2018

Very good overview of theory of VR and a great start to deepen the knowledge. The course encourages you to seek out additional information and prompts you to think of applications of the technology.

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1 - 25 of 464 Reviews for Introduction to Virtual Reality

By Alexander S

Feb 7, 2019

I audited this course for Professional Development from February 1st, 2019 through February 7th, 2019. For reference, I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Communication Studies where I completed some research (though unpublished) in virtual reality. Overall, this course took me about three hours per completion week outside of some of the larger readings which took longer. I completed all activities available via audit (even if I couldn't submit them) and read all readings except for a few journal articles that seemed to repeat themselves.

I'll complete a week by week breakdown and then provide my thoughts about the course overall.

For week one, I thought it was a nice introduction to various head-mounted displays on the consumer market. Additionally, there was a nice overview of the history of virtual reality which included some research devices I had not seen previously. Fun fact, this is the only week you will see Dr. Gillies in this course.

For week two, there is a breakdown of all the different ways virtual reality is helping in contemporary society today (from sports to science to medical improvements). The final reading in this week is a great piece by Mel Slater describing everything from the first two weeks and most content from the third week. While certainly not a ten minute read as described, I would recommend this week for this reading along.

For week three, it is easily the most material of the entire course. Mel Slater comes as a guest professor to describe presence, immersion, embodiment, place illusion, and plausibility illusion. Dr. Slater seemed like a great fit, and the only complaint about this week was the fact that readings were academic research papers that had seemingly already been described (such as the one from week two). Additionally, these readings were described as ten minute assignments which was not the case.

Lastly, for week four, there is a shift to the development side of virtual reality. There is a large focus on graphic development and issues one may face while programming for virtual reality today.

Looking over the course as a whole, here are the positives:

I found I had learned more than I knew coming into the course.

This course specifically can be completed by those interested in social science as well as those interested in development as there is a larger focus on Psychology and theories in the field of virtual reality.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Dr. Slater and his thoughts on the psychology of virtual reality as well as the illusions he showed.

Dr. Sylvia Pan had good content and was involved in almost every video.

Here are the negatives:

There were times I could see a large emphasis on CAVEs over other types of virtual reality, though I believe this to be due to the creator's own expertise.

Marco Gillies seemed to be very little involved with this particular course.

There were some grammatical errors in questions provided during lecture videos, and the answers are not examined by instructors. It is an auto-generated response so that it feels as those you are not receiving actual feedback.

Questions during lecture videos often pop up immediately after that information is covered, leading to parroting the answer back when asked about it.

Readings are all described as ten minutes, but some take hours while others take three minutes or thirty seconds. It is very inconsistent.

It appears most individuals audit this course, so those who are paying fill the discussion forums begging those who pay to review their work for the certificate completion before being charged again.

Some videos focus on the specialization and do not describe the course as an individual unit making the content confusing.

Overall, I would recommend this course. For those brand new to the subject, be aware there is peer-reviewed academic reading for this course. For some people, that alone can be a turn-off. For those fine with that content, I would spend about an hour a day on the content and you could have it completed within a few weeks time.

By Thanmai

Jun 1, 2020

I was interested on the topic VIRTUAL REALITY ,it's application and hardware ,the topics that I wanted to know about VR is briefly explain in this course and I also received the certificate in VR

By Jean T

Jun 15, 2018

Excelent content, there are so many interesting subjects about VR that I have not thought yet. Every lesson makes me fall even more in love to VR and its possibiilties to change our world for good.

By Ivan C

Jun 15, 2018

Being a non-techie, I find this course quite easy to understand. The required readings are academic papers and I took some time to understand them but it is good quality readings.


Jun 12, 2018

This is best VR introduction course. I learned a lot of about VR apps, hardware, VR illusions and many more. Teachers are great in explanation of the content.

By Mengqi L

Sep 9, 2019

5 stars for a very thorough introductory course with great examples, references and visuals! Great, well-organized videos that break mid-video to ask you a question (helped me pay attention).

3 stars for the sometimes frustrating quizzes: some information tested is not needed as practical knowledge for working in the VR industry. Why do we need to memorize what year something was invented? Sometimes the answer would be 3 answers instead of 1, but the phrasing is unclear, so it was difficult to choose.

0 stars for the graded peer assignment. I worked hard on my assignment, but all 3 peers I graded gave one-word answers or no answers to their assignment. This is very discouraging. Coursera, please have a minimum word count for people to submit their assignments, and match the people who submitted thorough answers with others who submitted thorough answers!

By Natalia

Jan 29, 2018

Very good overview of theory of VR and a great start to deepen the knowledge. The course encourages you to seek out additional information and prompts you to think of applications of the technology.


May 25, 2020

This is surely a wonderful course. I had a great time learning from this course. This course gave me detailed information regarding VR and it was really interesting for a first timer like me.

By Jon W

Jun 5, 2020

The course is well structured, although a bit heavy on the video-side in my opinion. It covers a good range of the fundamentals so someone completely new to VR is probably going to benefit the most. As a "power user" myself, but not at all a developer, I also learned enough to consider it valuable.

One problem is that the instructors don't tell from when a particular piece of text was written, which is very important in a field like VR which is rapidly and constantly evolving. They provide a blog on medium to provide some of the content up to date.

Then there's the usual problems with MOOCs: not being able to get in contact with the instructors, having a lot and lot of the participating peers being ignorant and not taking it seriously at all. One sometimes wonder why they bother?

By Matias N

Jan 6, 2019

This introductory course on VR is awesome both for people without any previous knowledge of VR as well as for VR developers or content creators. The course introduces the very basics concepts of VR, ranging from its definition, going through its history, current VR hardware and software, the psychology behind VR and some of the challenges that the technology introduces. The lecturers Sylvia and Marco are great at teaching, making the lectures quite engaging and enjoyable overall. In addition, there are a few guests lecturers that makes the content to shine even more. That's the case of Anthony Steed, which gives a great thoroughly description of the history of VR from the analog era to the current status, and in particular, all the lectures on the psychology of VR taught by Mel Slater. Really interesting information there, including concepts and some mind-blowing researches that Mel has done. So regardless your actual experience with VR, there is something new to learn in this course for sure. Good luck!


Jun 9, 2020

It is really a good basic knowledge of VR technology . Actually i am a research scholar who want to explore more about this VR technology . This course really helps me to find a good basic understanding of this technology . I want to learn more deep about this subject to insure my skills to next level .. so that i can utilize in my research.

By Shariful A

May 14, 2020

The course is highly recommended by me. Learned so many things at once. All the lecturers are too good in illustrating a complex issues and now my basic ideas about virtual reality is clear and wider.

By Aron H A L

Mar 28, 2022

A very comprehensive introduction to the types of VR solutions.

By Leo B

Mar 5, 2022

The material provided is interesting and fundamental for VR. From presence to types of devices, it's a good base level. But if you've already developed for VR in some way you'll find yourself speeding through.

However the course is SEVERELY dated. Of course, this is inevitable by how fast VR moves, but it is a shame to see that little has been done to keep the course up to date. Even some of the supplimentary materials have been depreciated!

By Laura W

May 25, 2022

While it was a lot to digest, I found the information fascinating and relatively understandable. I am sure as I continue this specialization, I will better understand the details of the field. I am super excited about this journey!

By Alex H

Oct 12, 2020

Material is painfully outdated, has some good concepts but really needs an update, for instance they recommend mobile VR which is now officially dead as gear vr is discontinued. The course was somewhat short as well. The main women giving the lectures did so in a professional somewhat stoic manner but VR should be fun and enjoyable she was very serious and sterile and showed a lack of passion or excitement. Honestly the only lectures that were fun was when I guest lecturer showed some interesting visual and mental tricks. I really didn't invest to much in the reading as they are several years old and little out of date.

This course probably works better as a part of the whole program certificate which I haven't finished yet but as an independent course I think it was just ok.

I finished this course (all 4 weeks) in pretty much a single day, turned on 2x video playback and powered through it.

By Steve A

Jan 19, 2019

Probably OK as an introduction to VR for someone who has no knowledge of the subject at all. Otherwise the usefulness is greatly reduced. As this is part one of the specialization in is probably weighted correctly against the following courses (we shall see).

By Aymen A M A

Jul 8, 2019

The course needs to be more exciting and I need to feel more enjoy during the course.

By Nandhini.J

May 30, 2020

More interested to learn

By H C

Jan 13, 2022

The course is outdated.


Jun 14, 2020

Boring course.

By Douglas M

Jan 11, 2018

I have just finished auditing the course. I provides an in-depth introduction to all the aspects involved by VR, from the long history to the diferent HMDs and the challenges like avoiding nausea. I have to say the the most interesting part for me was the one covered by prof. Mel Slater: the consequences of Embodiment are so very exciting, such as the reduced bias/prejudice after people enter a virtual environment owning a diferent body color, and so on. I really look forward to checking out the next courses!

ps.: apparently there's a glitch that when I download the content to watch offline, it does not check as "done" afterwards, maybe it's worth checking out!

By Callum W

Feb 9, 2020

I loved this course. I have a lot of background in film, VFX, game development and I still gained a massive amount from it. I am trying to further my ability from 360 Video and this has definitely been a step in the right direction.

The course brings aspects of VR that I had not initially considered from a development standpoint and a marketing standpoint. The psychology behind why certain choices are better than others, when it is better to use different technologies and even delving into the history of the technology and how it has grown into the beast it is today!

By Bilge M

Dec 14, 2022

The whole course was amazing. I didn't expect to learn the basics on such a scientific level. I'm continuing to read the articles you shared. However, after learning how to create a VR application concept I wish the name of the course was a bit different. Maybe something makes you want to share like "Designing a VR Application Concept" or "Scientific Foundations of VR" instead of "introduction". Also because this course is prepared in 2017, it looks like a bit abandoned. Thank you for all your effort and the precious knowledge you shared.

By James M

Oct 17, 2017

I was quite pleased to find the level of detail in this course. I feel like I have just gotten the benefit of a veteran programmers retrospect on the industry. Very cool.

One thing I would suggest... splitting part of week 3 into week 4... week 3 was fairly heavy compared to the others... though I certainly understand the desire to group that specific material together.

I would also suggest changing the assignments to be specific to one type of VR each... HMD or 360 Video. It would help people think out use cases in both spaces.